Lac d’Annecy was pure magic: swirling and moody under wispy ghost clouds; studded with stark-white swans.
As the wind churned the water into a deep turquoise and our scarves thrashed around our necks, I stared into the fog, freezing but not wanting to leave a place that felt like a painting to step into, like fiction or poetry; the setting of a Heathcliff & Catherine-style dark romance.
If you are at all inclined to daydream (–and you might have guessed that I am), visiting Annecy on a mist-enveloped purple-tinted day probably won’t help you keep your feet on the ground. It almost seems plausible to search for, say, an Ondine-style mermaid in the clear pebbled water.
Happily for me, mon copain supports my picture taking habit and adjective-loving dreamer mind while his strengths lie in the practical things: money, navigation, driving, math…and so, thanks to Florent, we found food.
He had been wanting me to try “la bonne” tartiflette for a while now, so we walked for a bit through the town, a veritable Pinterest paradise, and squeezed into a tiny restaurant smelling strongly & deliciously of reblochon, a cheese specific to the Savoie region.
We ordered two glasses of rosé and two tartiflettes–dishes full of potatoes, cream, onions, lardons, herbs, and the most important part: the gooey melty crusty reblochon cheese on the top, all bien chaud.
Florent explained to me how the tartiflette is typical of the region’s food, as it’s hearty, heavy, and warming…historically all the better for those performing hard work in the freezing cold.
Lyon may be the gastronomic capital of France, but if it’s comfort food you’re after (potatoes, cream, so. much. cheese.), I’m going to have to recommend the colder parts of the country.
After we ate, we explored the town, ducking into stores occasionally just to warm up. I especially love looking into the windows of bakeries and pastry shops, the way the sugary smells waft out the doorways. I discovered, yet again, several new sweets: my favorite being the simple bonhomme en sucre, a large, sweet brioche in the form of a man. He was charming and cost just one euro.
We ventured back to the lake, towards the mountains, looking at boats. And birds. And finding a “Grand Budapest”-style hotel.